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|4.0 excellent||Zachary Lohnes | December 31st 11|
With every album he released during the first half of the '70s, Bruce Cockburn continued to evolve and show signs of greatness, and with his seventh, In the Falling Dark, he makes good on these promises. As a whole, this record trumps anything that its predecessors had to offer, almost to the point where it's difficult to imagine that it followed the release of Joy Will Find a Way by only a year. The sound that was merely suggested on his previous recordings is fully realized here: check out the flute and trumpet interplay on the jazz inflected instrumental "Giftbearer," the hypnotic "I'm Gonna Fly Someday" with its irresistible flute, horn, and voice line, and Fred Stone's fl?horn on "Silver Wheels." Furthermore, the songwriting is without a doubt his most consistent; "Lord of the Starfields" and the evocative title track are the pinnacle of his Christian mysticism, whereas the aforementioned "Silver Wheels" is one of his keenest social observations to date. There's still the occasional slide into the sort of hippie-ish sentiments that have plagued his recordings from time to time, but even at its most mawkish, there's a sweetness and warmth to the material. His first U.S. release since 1972, In the Falling Dark may not have made Bruce Cockburn a household name, but it did mark his emergence as an important artist.
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